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Control and Coordination in Animals and Plants – Introduction

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Life Processes / Life’s Internal Secrets

How do Organisms Reproduce?/ The Life Cycle

Heredity and Evolution

  • Why do you quickly remove your fingers on touching a hot object?
  • Who controls and coordinates your heart to relax and contract continuously?
  • What enables you to learn, think, analysis and remember?
  • How can you watch T.V. and eat at the same time?
  • How can you sing while playing the keyboard?
  • Why do leaves of touch-me-not plant (Mimosa pudica) fold up and droop on touching?

Plants and animals try to respond to environment and external stimuli. However, the mechanism used by plants is different than the animals. In animals, control and coordination are provided by nervous and muscular tissues. In plants, control and coordination are not provided by nervous and muscular tissues. The movement exhibited by plants are mainly in response to the stimulus, for e.g. in Mimosa, it is stimulus of touch.

Control and Coordination –
For proper functioning of organisms, there should be perfect coordination among different systems of plants/animals. It is required for proper growth and development.

[pullquote-right]“Control is systematic regulation of various activities. Coordination is the orderly execution of the processes. ”[/pullquote-right]

The systems should be effectively controlled and coordinated. This would provide the stability and maintenance of the steady state i.e. creation of a relatively constant environmental condition within any organism.

How our body adjusts its internal temperature in summers and how it isn’t drastically affected in chilly winters?

This is because of a process called homeostasis due to which our body performs this lifesaving miracle. Examples of homeostasis are sweating when it is hot, and shivering when it is cold. Regulation of blood pressure, temperature, blood sugar levels, hormone levels, and enzyme levels are all a part of homeostatic processes in the human body. Problems with any of these processes (or homeostatic imbalance) can lead to serious health problems like dehydration, hypertension, diabetes, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, etc.
Thus, homeostasis, in biological terms means that the body is maintaining internal equilibrium to adjust itself internally and physiologically, in response to the external environmental changes. The main function of homeostasis is to keep all the processes of the body stable even if there are variations in the weather and environment outside. The organs which play an important role in maintaining homeostasis are the kidneys, liver and brain.

  •  Animals, humans, other mammals and birds, who can maintain the temperature of the internal environment even though there may be large changes in the environmental temperature are called homeotherms.
  • Neurons or nerve cells – electrically excitable cells of the nervous tissue that process and transmit information. Neurons are structural and functional unit of nervous system.
  • Nerve – cord like bundles of fibers enclosed in a tubular sheath, made up of neurons that uses chemical and electrical signals to transmit sensory and motor information from one body part to another.
  • Stimulus – It is a signal that causes an organism to react in some way. Some stimulus comes from
    outside the organism’s body, while other stimulus like thirst, hunger, cold come from the organism’s body. The organism’s reaction to the stimulus is also called a response.
  • Excitability – ability of nerve cells to respond to stimuli and convert them into nerve impulses.

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Control and Coordination Phenomenon in Plants

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